THE TOMORROW MACHINE

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A strange short story.

The Tomorrow Machine

 

The bank guard had witnessed a robbery.  Two dudes with machetes appeared from nowhere.  Grabbed bags of notes for a million dollars.  Before he could tackle them at big doors, their forms fizzled away.  Like thick misty fog.  The thieves in black were gone.  The press too were unsure how to report the caper.  They did not know they were victims of time.  All thanks to the Tomorrow Machine.

 

* * *

The town jeweler moved his hands into his display window.  Carefully placing delightful red ruby wedding bands. The small tray of worth was grabbed from behind.  Men had appeared inside the shop.  The price thieves took $10,000 worth of precious gems.  Then vanished before they could reach the door.  The manager felt tears of woe and disbelief.  This was another event from the Tomorrow Machine.

 

* * *

 

A file fell onto the desk of Reporter Mike Four.  He stared with round reading specs.  The two strange cases of theft.  His mind expected a third crime to take place.  Then he could triangulate where the fiend may be.  The reason and how was left.  Mike sipped his can of Coke, turned up his police radio and waited.  Unknowingly he was part of the Tomorrow Machine event.

 

* * *

 

The shop was closing down for the day. Night grew into darkness.  Before he knew it the gunsmith had lost his keys.  Straight from his hands someone had snatched the long lock openers.  Including the expensive gun cabinet.  As he blacked out from the ordeal, the man noticed another door, seem to open.  A chink of light crept into the dim store.  Shining on the lethal and costly colt 45s.  Two darker thugs raided the place and vanished before confused eyes.

 

* * *

 

The sirens could be heard before the radio sounded.  The raid had found the ears of an eager Reporter.  A crafty mouth grinned.  Ready for the Tomorrow Machine.

* * *

 

With his ruler on a map, Four marked three lines.  Basic logic told him something.  That the culprits either worked within, outside or on the triangle.  The shape was clearly in the town area.  One more crime could lead him to the focal point. And by deduction and thought. Another shop or bank should be the next target. At least that was what Mike Four surmised.  The town was small, so he decided to have walk around.  And imagine where the next attack may be.

 

* * *

 

Oncoming back toward whence he came, Four came upon his boss.  The chief editor of the Town Daily. Both men seemed to merge.  ‘What are you doing here?’

Mike resounded, ‘calculating the next crime. You know the last few thefts in town.’

‘Sure! Are you getting any closer?’

‘Well the three crimes are in the same area.  The next should be here.’

Mike was pointing to the mail office.  The pair returned to the Town Daily office.  The men were unknowingly getting closer to the Tomorrow Machine.

 

* * *

 

On the wall lay the street map of the US Town Daily and the area.  It all looked the same to the Chief.  The old small town was not far from a notorious gunfight scene.  This fact was not on the men’s minds.  The chief though noticed Mike’s old fashion camera, on display.  It was among other antiques, from the US history.  An old Stetson, a picture of Texas and a feather headdress of a real Indian Chief.  The duo were very close to the Tomorrow Machine.

 

* * *

 

The Chief was feeling hungry and told Mike he could do with a burger and fries from the diner opposite.  At that time, Four had lifted down the old camera.  Pretended to shoot it at his boss.  As he clicked the button, a spark blew between the men and black boxed machine.  In that instance, a strange presence moved into them.  The Indian head piece ruffled its feathers.  And a old piece of ore, a meteor fragment, burst into life. Was this the beginning of the Tomorrow Machine?

 

* * *

 

The small town seemed to blow with dust.  Tumbleweed crashed into the walls of the Burger Bar.  Several teenagers ignored outside.  Stuffing their faces with fries and malt shakes.  They gossiped about school, life and the robberies. Some eyes glanced at lights coming from the Town Daily office.  Over the street.  Deputy Dog placed his hand to his radio.  As he swallowed his burger whole.  Ready to protect his townsfolk. 

 

On the desk of Mike Four lay, a million dollars in banknotes, a rare ruby gemstone and two colt 45s and bullets.  His eyes looked at Chief and sighed, ‘where did all this come from’?

‘I don’t know kid, but its making me real hungry.’

In a moment a load of fries, burgers and milkshakes were there, ready to go, and eat.  Mike stared at his boss, ‘I know who the culprits are, WE ARE’!

 

The reporter and editor froze in time.  In their place were two desperados. With black cowboy hats and black gunfighter clothes.  With black kerchiefs covering their faces.  The alien rock and Indian feathers had merged.  Giving them understanding about the old camera once used at the gunfight at the OK Corral.  Standing together were the Clanton Brothers.

 

Although they could hear and watch, the humans were now spirits from the Wild West.  The elder brother had ideas of grandeur.  The outlaws would rule the town.  And then the state.  The time was growing along with their ideals.  Yet outside the office, Deputy Dog was concerned about the vision and the light in the office.  He did not realise the burger thieves had gone back to the next day. 

 

Mike Five returned the camera back to its place.  Upon a shelf marked antiques.  He and his chief had pointed out the next target as the burger bar.  Then worked out that they were inside that square block.  They had seen from the upstairs office, a flash of light inside the diner.  Mike watched the lawman Dog race into the building, chasing the alien, Indian or Colt 45s.The gunfight had ended before it could begin. Only the shelf shuddered. 

 

‘Sorry Deputy, we don’t know where they went either.  Maybe can work it out, tomorrow.’

 

* * *

 

After a good nights rest.  The town folk went around doing the usual things.  It was an old US town, nothing special really.  You see the dreams can come true.  Or become a real life nightmare.  That was what Mike Four thought. How can you get to tomorrow, before it comes.  He knew somehow that the Clanton Brothers were planning their next heist.  Then return back to tomorrow.  Something in his office was the catalyst. 

 

His Chief pointed to the old black box camera.  It must have been that.  What about the guns.  They were bought on eBay.  Were they really from the OK Corral?  There was also the Indian head dress.  Was is possessed somehow?  Time was running out because they had worked out the time the Machine was to strike again.

 

Deputy Dog had a strange idea.  He owned a gun with a silver bullet.  He was ready to shoot Ike Clanton when the old camera came to life.  The Chief Editor  thought worriedly, as it was he that became that older brother.  Would the bullet kill them both?  Could time stand still into tomorrow.  Mike said he was a smart guy, not a scientist.  The trio watched the modern wall clock hit 10am.  At 11.30 all hell could break loose.

 

*

The secret was kept by the three men.  The deputy did not want a panic in his town.  His superior was out of town.  The world and town would go on someway.  A town hall clock chimed 11.30am.  The shelf of ancient artefacts came to life.  The post office lights flickered down the street.  Was this the next attack for riches?  A pistol sounded at the heart of Ike Clanton, as it merged with Mike’s boss.  The camera on the shelf seemed to press its shutter by itself.  It was how Clanton the younger triggered the machine from tomorrow.

 

 

The gunman reeled back in the reporters office.  The editor hit the wall under the haunted shelf.  In that moment, the boss of Deputy Dog walked into the room, stating, ‘what the hell is going on?’  He to fell back.  Back into tomorrow. 

‘Oh shoot’! cursed the Mike.

 

* * *

 

Ike Clanton was dead, and he and his brother fazed back into history.  The episode of tomorrow was ending.  The small town came back to normality.  The scary shelf was thrown into a skip.  The crimes were soon forgotten.  Mike Four reported his story.  No real answer was found.  Yet the three men believed they had seen the Tomorrow Machine.  But which was it?

 

* * *

 

The dust cart discarded its waste.  Some recycling guys noticed the bag of antiquities.  A wooden shelf with, a Stetson, an Indian head dress, two Colt 45 guns, a camera from the wild west era and a crumby bit of iron ore.  A man claimed the a haul.  Then gave it to his son.  Who then gave the bag to his friend who was moving away.  To L.A. California. 

 

The black plastic bag spilled out its contents, in the far travelling car rear window.  The closer they got to the destination, the iron ore began to gleam.  As if it was ready for the next day, and more mayhem. From the alien space and time ship.  The TOMORROW MACHINE…..

 

THE END…?

 

 

 


Submitted: December 03, 2021

© Copyright 2022 bloodman. All rights reserved.

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